Utilitarian Approach

Utilitarian Approach




The Disadvantages of Utilitarian Approach in Treatment

One disadvantage of the utilitarian approach in treatment is that this plan is not usually effective in helping the common citizen. The ethic of fully utilizing the best solution that least negatively affects people while helping the most number of people leaves the person making the choice in a tight spot where they have to substitute their own improvement for the improvement of the larger entity. Treatment on terminally ill patients may be stopped on this basis. They might not survive therefore it is better to channel funds elsewhere. Another disadvantage I have noted is that this approach sometimes grants undeserved benefits to the larger number of the population.

While most people might benefit from such approaches, it locks out a small number of people who most of the times are usually not considered during the consultations. I have also observed that while this approach may be meant for the good of all, it is difficult to qualitatively determine the benefits gained by patients. Sometimes also, the best thing to do according to this approach in treatment is usually unethical itself. Though such an action would benefit a large number of people, it would have to involve some form of deception that will have to be concealed (Janes and Lundy 2009). I have also noted that sometimes the decisions made while using this approach might be helping the health institution while disadvantaging the patients (Contestabile 2012).

2. My Opinion on this Approach

In my opinion, I find this approach suitable in most situations since it seeks to benefit the larger population who in most situations are usually the ones in dire need. Despite the demerits mentioned above, it is important to note that this approach always takes the solution that causes minimal harm to all people involved (Hansen 2011).


Anderson, E. T., & McFarlane, J. (2011). Community as partner: Theory and practice in nursing (6th Ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Contestabile, B. (2012). Negative Utilitarianism and Justice. In Socrethics.com .Retrieved from http://www.socrethics.com/Folder2/Justice.htm

Hansen, K. (2011). Five Ways to Shape Ethical Decisions: Utilitarian Approach. In Capsim.com. Retrieved from http://www.capsim.com/blog/2011/five-ways-to-shape-ethical-decisions-utilitarian-approach.cfm

Janes, S. & Lundy, S. K. (2009). Community Health Nursing: Caring for the Public’s Health (2nd Ed.)Jones & Bartlett Learning.